Props for the Props

Link to today’s strip.

I’ve seen a few YouTube clips of conventions where the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation appear, and one of the things they would mention is asking the costume department if they could have their uniforms–especially during the last season, when the show was winding down.

And the costuming department always said “No.” So the brave men and women of the United Federation of Planets would…steal them. Yeah, it goes against the Prime Directive, but I always gave it a pass, since these roles were what gave these folks their careers, so why not grab a souvenir?

The great thing about today’s episode is that, aside from reminding me of the generally entertaining ST:TNG, it also shows that Mason knows how to operate.

It’s day two of “Yeah, we were just going to throw these in the trash, but then we thought, ‘Hey, we could give these to that shmuck Les,’ and we knew you’d be all OMG and squee and like that. And you wouldn’t even notice that as soon as we gave you this crap, everyone at the party would leave to go to the real party. Wait a minute…did I just say all that out loud?” How many times is Les going to be given gifts and praise? Wait–don’t answer that.

It also seems to illustrate Charles‘ observation from Tuesday, Mason’s “speech is just three random statements that have little if anything to do with one another.” “Thanks for the souvenir,” “When we get drunk enough, we steal things.”

And more fetishizing the death props in panel three. This strip is really unhealthy.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

43 responses to “Props for the Props

  1. Epicus Doomus

    I hate it when he tries too hard and reaches for a gag like this. I guess the joke here is that “Hollywood” is an amoral pit of depravity where drunken celebrities flout their privilege and loot and steal anything that isn’t nailed down. You know, like old name tags and dirty towels. It’s like he’s afraid to ever let any of his Hollywood characters be just plain good people with normal values, as if he has some sort of lifelong grudge against the movie business for some mysterious reason. The only Hollywood character who did possess good and pure Westviewian-type values was Marianne, who nearly committed suicide over being dragged into the showbiz sewer. It’s a long-running FW theme.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Her “good and pure” persona may explain why Ms. Winters seems to have skipped this soiree. No doubt she’s out at a Le Brea soup kitchen, doling out hot meals to Angelinos who lost their homes during last year’s devastating wildfire (oddly enough, if Battyuk had opted to continue that year-old storyline, he’d be chronologically accurate for once).

      Also, isn’t Masonne a producer on “Lisa’s Story and the Temple of Gloom”? Isn’t he simply picking his own pocket ?

      • Epicus Doomus

        Coming tomorrow: Mason presents Les with the copper piping and wire he tore from the studio walls.

    • Hitorque

      It’s amusing to think a dude who’s getting a $25 million paycheck for acting in this movie would joke about stealing worthless crap from the set…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      he’s afraid to ever let any of his Hollywood characters be just plain good people with normal values

      And at the same time, his Hollywood characters are constantly sucking up to every loser in Westview, especially Les. If anything, they’re TOO normal, except when he needs them to be elitist because the plot calls of it. It’s just like everything else in Funky WInkerbean: what does this character need to be today?

      • Charles

        If Batiuk wanted Mason to be as terrible as he’s presented “Hollywood People”, he could have Mason ghost Les now that he’s gotten everything he wants from Les and has no need to deal with him ever again. Have him be really nasty about it too.

        But I suspect Batiuk won’t, because having a massive Hollywood star inexplicably kissing Les’s ass for no reason at all is just too much for him to give up on. Les needs and deserves that validation.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Having a massive Hollywood star kiss Les’s ass is the entire point. This is all just Tom Batiuk’s big Take That at Hollywood. It’s him venting his spleen at the industry that wasn’t interested in making a Crankshaft or Funky Winkerbean movie.

          But as much as Batiuk trashes Hollywood — even literally burning it down — he still craves validation from it. So Les’ interaction with Hollywood wobbles back and forth between self-indulgent fantasy, and Batiuk’s idea of a satire.

          Unfortunately, Tom Batiuk’s only actual experience with Hollywood is how they brush off midwestern nobodies who are a lot less talented than they think.

  2. Hitorque

    I refuse to believe Hollywood parties are this dull and uninspired…

    • Gerard Plourde

      I also refuse to believe that they’re held on the soundstage. Why would you hold it at a location that’s not set up to serve food, drinks, and provide a dance space? For example, some suggestions from the Nevada Film Office –

      • Because, as the last panel makes clear, you need that park bench and that wheelchair. Otherwise people might think they’re at a celebration, rather than a wake.

      • Jimmy

        There has to be more than just two locations for a wrap party, right? I think someone needs to update the Nevada Film website.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      When I did local theater, there was an “official” cast party, and there were one or more “unofficial” ones. Les and Cayla are clearly at the official one.

  3. William Thompson

    Today’s offering is as bland and featureless as the faces of the two women standing in mute adoration of the men.

  4. Mr. A

    If Les somehow hauls that bench back to Ohio with him, I’ll scream.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Les will set it up in the living room to use when he and Cayla play their dress up games.

    • William Thompson

      Les will sneak out one night, steal the real bench and leave the prop in its place. The real one will end up in his cellar, with fake snow on the floor and a Dead Lisa mannequin seated on the bench, eternally dying for Les.

  5. billytheskink

    What’s a nametape and a towel given all of the studio’s money Masone stole to make this flick?

  6. James Bomb

    Actually, when the drinking reaches a certain level, we all realize what a fucked-up piece of shit we just filmed.

    • Y. Knott

      I believe they are drinking to forget that particular fact.

      So *much* drinking. Must …blot out … all the memories …

  7. ComicBookHarriet

    Your story about the TNG crew stealing uniforms reminds me of a story from the Cast Commentary of Lord of the Rings Return of the King, where Billy Boyd and Dominque Monaghan talk about stealing one of the hundreds of skulls from the avalanche of skulls scene.

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    This makes Les’ gift in yesterday’s strip even more insulting. “You get a towel and a name tag, but actual worthwhile props can be taken for free by anyone.”

    Part of me wouldn’t fault Les for wanting to upgrade his souvenir, but I know full well he’s going to want that goddam bench and that goddam wheelchair. And the hand towel he got is more than adequate compensation for the amount of effort he put in.

  9. Jimmy

    I know it’s been stated here before, but it still boggles the mind that Batiuk thinks the cancer arc and that stupid bench are cultural touchstones.

  10. bigd1992

    “This strip is really unhealthy “ is the truest thing ever written

  11. be ware of eve hill

    What?! No speech from Les? There is a merciful Batiuk after all.

    Quite often, I have certain pessimistic expectations for a subsequent day’s strip. Batty usually trounces those lowered expectations and creates a strip much worse than I feared. Today is a rarity. A comic strip not as nauseating.

    LOL. I love your interpretation, @BeckoningChasm. Everyone bailed as soon as the towel and name badge touched Les’s hands.
    Crowd: Oh hell no! We’re not listening to him give a speech! Party’s over! See ya!

  12. be ware of eve hill

    I’m kind of curious now. What was the name on Les’s server badge?

    1.) ‘Les’ or ‘Leslie’
    2.) Something foreign like ‘Henri’
    3). ‘Insufferable Douchebag’
    4.) ‘No-Account Sissypants’
    5.) ‘Don’t Tip this Person’
    6.) ‘Kick Me’

    • be ware of eve hill

      7.) ‘Film Budget Killer’
      8.) ‘Dickless’
      9.) ‘Bearded Dick with Glasses’

      • Jimmy

        No. 6 is my favorite, especially since someone would be kicking him in the front and causing intense pain.

  13. Sourbelly

    “Thanks very much for the remembrance from my role, Mason.” Nobody talks like that. And it provides no new information.

    And the way Mason words it, it sounds like they’re only ALLOWED to steal props after the drinking has reached a certain level.

    Oh, and the artwork sucks ass.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      “We’re allowed to steal props once the drinking reaches a certain level. But not before. I see you eyeing that wheelchair, so you need to shotgun this beer bong.”

  14. Richard Van Levee

    10.) ‘Asshole’

  15. newagepalimpsest

    Cindy and Cayla’s worshipful faces just make me want to retch.

  16. Suicide Squirrel

    Just who is Chuck Ayers using as a model for Mason? If you colored his hair black and added a handlebar mustache, I’d swear it was Dick Dastardly. Snidely Whiplash?

    • Charles

      Buster Crabbe, which Ayers does as badly as he does pretty much everything else.

      • Suicide Squirrel

        Very badly. Ayers must have forgotten Buster Crabbe was an olympian swimmer. I never saw Buster as emaciated as Mason. Could you imagine Flash Gordon, Buck Rodgers, or Tarzan being played by Mason as he appears here? I remember Buster advertising some kind of exercise equipment in the 1970s. He appeared as if he could crack walnuts with his biceps.

        • RudimentaryLathe?

          Ohhhh….I’d been thinking lately that he was a mean-spirited caricature of Danny Kaye, who was successful at comedy and therefore not a True Artiste. Batty/Ayers thinking they’re paying tribute to Crabbe makes more sense, as it’s even sadder.

  17. batgirl

    Les getting a crying towel is appropriate. Seems kind of small, though.